“In life, if an opportunity comes your way, you need to take it.” – Nick Bevington
Watch Nick Bevington’s interview where he speaks of his route from Finance graduate to Head of Town Close School, the boredom of working in Finance and how summer camp work had lit the torch paper of his love of helping and teaching young people. Nick’s early advice of taking an opportunity has stood him in very good stead.
In fact, this advice leads to Nick progressing quicker than normal to his first Deputy Headteacher role. He describes how he handled the responsibility of this post when relatively inexperienced compared to other more established staff.
Nick has lost none of his enthusiasm and passion for education and had some amazing examples of current initiatives in Town Close school. Enjoy!
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for show notes, transcript and links…
[00:30] Nick’s route into teaching.
[01:50] The biggest influencers in Nick’s early teaching.
[04:50] Becoming a Deputy headteacher
[06:17] Learns as a Deputy.
[08:00] Making the move into Headship.
[09:54] New Head, new experiences.
[11:29] Implementing change as a Head.
[13:08] Current inititives at Town Close School.
[15:49] Genderless uniform.
[22:11] What makes a good SLT.
[24:06] Nick’s advice to NQT’s.
[27:02] Nick’s advice to aspiring Head Teachers.
[28:39] How Nick gets away from work.
Lee Stanley 0:06
Hello, and welcome to health food education good to great webinar series where I interview the leading Head Teachers in the UK. And today I’m joined by Nick Bennington of Town Close School in Norwich. Hi, Nick, how are you?
Nick Bevington 0:21
Very well. Thank you. Good to join you.
Lee Stanley 0:23
Excellent. Thank you for being here. And so Nick always like to start by finding out sort of your roots into teaching. So what took you into into education?
Nick Bevington 0:32
I’m one of those people who didn’t start off as a teacher. I actually joined a finance Graduate Programme for British Airways. And in my mind going to school and university, I was looking for that great job and that that great career and I never thought of teaching. When I was a student, I did work in America for some summers working in American summer camps. Then when I started my finance graduate programme and started thinking is this actually what I want to do for the rest of my life? realising that it wasn’t, I came back to other things that I’d enjoyed, and I realised I’d love working with young people in America. And I thought about teaching as a career, retrained and then worked my way from being a classroom teacher to a head teacher.
Lee Stanley 1:15
Excellent. So what was your initial route? Did you do PGCE?
Nick Bevington 1:19
Lee Stanley 1:20
OK within what subject.
Nick Bevington 1:22
So I did a math specialist PGCE for secondary combined with the general primary. And at the time, that was with Newcastle University, and it was a completely new course. And because it was completely new, it was actually released later in the year. And so it was my route into teaching, when actually everything else is full. And it was perfect, because I wasn’t sure if I wants to be secondary or primary. And it gave me that ability to do both.
Lee Stanley 1:45
Excellent, excellent. And then the early couple of years, who was sort of the biggest influences within your teaching career?
Nick Bevington 1:51
Well, I mean, there were many I say, my first teacher was an influence in one key piece of advice he gave me and he was trying to persuade me to take on an opportunity. But he said that in life, if an opportunity comes your way, you need to take it. And I think that that sounds obvious, but that’s really good advice. And that’s sort of how I’ve ended up where I am now. The second person I really admired was some somebody who was as a teacher, one of the most accomplished practitioners I’ve ever seen, in that she was just always so good at dealing calmly with difficult situations, about getting the balance right between having that really warm relationship with pupils, but then knowing absolutely who was in charge. And there were there was no pulling the wool over her eyes. Oh, no getting one over. And I thought that she was one of the most amazing teachers currently a serving deputy head, but they’re probably one of the best. I’ve seen it in my career.
Lee Stanley 2:49
Excellent. And then in terms of career progression, and move. What did you move into middle leadership?
Nick Bevington 2:55
Yes, I did. So the opportunity that the first had wanted me to take on as the head of Modern foreign languages role, and bearing in mind I was a maths teacher
Lee Stanley 3:03
Nick Bevington 3:03
You can see why we’re having the conversation but I worked in France in my gap year and I had done some French has passed my degree as an extra course. And they couldn’t find a teacher that they wanted for the role and they wanted to encourage me and so I’m actually applied for a head of department role in a subject that I wasn’t a specialist teacher in.
Lee Stanley 3:25
Fantastic How did that work out?
Nick Bevington 3:27
Well, it worked out very well. Um, you know, in life if you if you don’t know everything, you have to get the help of people who do. And I was very lucky that at the time there was a student working with us who had studied French A-level he’s now a successful author incidentally and as also a journalist, but the time he was a gap student, and I went through the content for the grant French grammar lesson with him the night before, to really get on top of this piece of history, and I could and the existing head of languages who was observing lesson you could tell I’m thinking, boy, I didn’t realise it this young teaching knew quite so much about French grammar and my preparation properly.
Lee Stanley 4:07
Fantastic. Fantastic. And how long did you spend within middle leadership?
Nick Bevington 4:12
I spent in total only four years, which sounds like a really short time I spent. I spent three years in that first school as head of Modern Foreign Languages. And then I got a job as a sideways move to another Modern Foreign Languages job to broaden my experience. But as she left that quite quickly, because an opportunity came up to be a deputy head in London, and it was for a school that was newly founded and it was a risk to take the role. But I remembered about thinking about opportunities and taking them and so at age 31, I became a deputy head in a central London School.
Lee Stanley 4:50
Fantastic, and how did that pan out for you?
Nick Bevington 4:55
Ultimately, it was successful. It certainly led to my first headship and And it was a very interesting and steep learning curve. I was a young and still quite inexperienced teacher really leading a team of people who were mostly more experienced than me. And certainly many of whom had been in education for a long time. But there are certain things that really helped you in that situation. Firstly, that sense that actually, you’re enthusiastic, passionate, keen to support people. And basically everyone’s keen to do the best they can for children, even if you difference to how you going to do it. So it was it was seeing that energy and commitment, I think that saw me through that. But also there are times when you have to be tough and resilient. And there was some interesting challenges with that role. And being a deputy is actually one of the toughest roles in in teaching, I think, both from a school organisational point of view and a day to day, people management point of view today. And this was made more complex by the fact that we were a multi site Its school with all the safeguarding and procedural elements. okay with that. And so it was actually a really interesting and important learning experience.
Lee Stanley 6:10
And in terms of the sort of the big, like learns and achievements that you had within that role, and what were they?
Nick Bevington 6:19
I think that more than anything, it was growing in confidence and learning that and apparently difficult situation can be dealt with. And there were difficult situations in that role. I think one of the most challenging ones was newly in when I was new in the role, the person you’ve done, the road previously had been much loved, die suddenly. And I had to, I had to break that news to pupils. And we were talking about someone who all of the pupils and all of my colleagues remembered with great fondness. It done a terrific job. And actually that managing that whole collective grief and mourning is a really, really difficult experience. Another really difficult day I can remember is the day of the seven seven bombings. But my school was just around the corner from Edgware Road.
Lee Stanley 7:13
Nick Bevington 7:13
And we were all in school that morning. And there was quite a lot of, you know, panic and anxiety and not knowing what was going on amongst both the staff who were getting news coming through and pupils who were obviously getting idea that things weren’t right and how best to respond to that. And so I had the challenge of leading on the ground, a response to a situation where mobile phones weren’t working as switch what was going mad. People want to know what we were doing that their children were safe.
Lee Stanley 7:48
Wow. Okay. And in terms of the move to headship, yeah, that’s something that you you’d always plan when did you sort of decide or feel that I do want to be a head teacher.
Nick Bevington 8:02
Well, the funny thing is I didn’t go into teaching with the idea that I wanted to be a head teacher at all I went to teaching because I love teaching. And I remember when I was in my very young teaching days of one of my colleagues, when we were walking to classes and sort of saying, aren’t we lucky to be in this environment? When you think about people’s work environment, now how great it is, it was, it was a sunny day, there were people walking happily from place to place. It was one of those idyllic moments. And he said, enjoy these moments. You know, enjoy, enjoy this time when you’re at the bottom. And I really did enjoy it. And I took the opportunity in London, but even then I didn’t think of myself necessarily becoming ahead. But I that by that point had become married. My met my wife, we were looking at the next stage in terms of her moving out of London. I was looking at opportunities and the logical step when you when you’re thinking about options well look at the market and the headship came up quite a big school. And I thought, well, this is a complete long shot. But I was a junior school attached to a senior school and I contacted the senior school head, who would offer informal meetings and asked for an informal meeting, just to explore whether it was even worth my while going through this role. And we had a conversation and it seemed from that conversation that we were really aligned as to where we saw education. And from that, he encouraged me to apply and I went through the application process, and actually flew back from a school trip to get to the second interview says quite jet lagged as well. But some it I got the job and it wasn’t an easy job. But that was my route into headship.
Lee Stanley 9:48
Fantastic. And in terms of the first first year, first two years within headship, what are your big learns within that?
Nick Bevington 9:58
Oh gosh, I think one of the things you learn as a head is that you need to remember everybody else, but they’re not going to necessarily remember you. And so you need to ask people, you know, how the family is or how was that weekend or, you know, is your mother feeling better, or whatever it might be. And think about their welfare. And yet, they won’t necessarily ever even contemplate your needs as a head. It’s a different relationship. And the relationship does change, because people can’t deal with you in quite the same way. I can remember as a young teacher, I was always, you know, one of the people in the staff from who was, you know, enjoying light hearted conversations and you know, being that the centre of all the fun that goes with teaching, and you know, you don’t lose the fun as a head but you there’s a certain distance and you’re not part of that grouping quite the same way as you were before. And I think that you also start thinking about how you’re going to leave things and move things forward. And and you use you start seeing what you’ve done and what what makes a difference. And you have to have quite a strong personality sometimes because inevitably all of us in not just in teaching but in general tend to be quite worried about change doing things in different ways of change management that does involved in headship.
Lee Stanley 11:25
Yeah, so tell me about some of the changes that you’ve had to implement.
Nick Bevington 11:29
Well, one of the first things I had to do is we had a school that was basically carrying more staff than it could afford. And that’s a very challenging situation because work out what you’re what you’re going to do in order to make sure that you you provide for pupils in a way that within the staff budget and at the same time, try to preserve, you know, the the, the feeling amongst teaching and other stuff that you know, this is a place that we all value. So I think that was a challenge. And the other challenge I had is it was a school that hadn’t previously done well in inspection. But the attitude amongst the teachers was that they were really doing a great job. And that somehow the inspectors just weren’t able to see what they they were doing and inspectors were wrong effectively. And actually, there were some key things that needed to change. And, you know, that were aspects of our provision, which we needed to improve and it was trying to take people on a journey to recognise that and to implement that improvement. And of course, when you have done that, and then when you get a very much better appraisal next time around or in this case, the time after, because my first inspection phase soon after I joined, I think that you then get people feeling quite satisfied about that and feeling quite pleased and quite validated about their contribution. But But leading people on that journey and leading change is not an easy thing to do.
Lee Stanley 13:00
Sure, sure. So tell me about current current school and, and any, like initiatives that you’re running in in Town Close?
Nick Bevington 13:08
Well, we’re it’s a very exciting time in Town Close because we’ve just been nominated for a TES National award, as was shortlisted for being the best school in our category. And that is a really wonderful moment when when staff realised that their efforts have been recognised in that way. And I think that we’ve been recognised that effort because of a number of pupil led or pupil inspired projects. with of course the support and encouragement of our staff. I think the first thing that we’ve done is that not only with ourselves, but with many, many other schools around us and with hundreds of pupils from our local area Norfolk we have inspired participation in a an environmentally friendly racing series, which combines engineering skills with teamwork with thinking about the environment and looking at the future of zero emissions transport, and there are different levels of the this green power series and we started off on what they call the Goblin level, which is for children in primary years. And in that level, you assemble a go kart and you take part in certain challenges like slalom, drag, race, and so forth. And people drive the car and peoples are the ones who are taking other roles, like making sure that the drivers and the driver change is done properly that someone has to do the push start. And and so they feel like they’re part of a team driving and running the car. And we actually started racing event in Norfolk at an old airfield. And lots and lots of people got involved in one of our stuff became an ambassador. We then moved up to the next formula up where you have to be a bit older and that’s what f 24 and now you’re allowed to multiple fly the cast really much more like a racing car. That’s like a kit and so People’s without volunteers to be working on things like the aero package, the battery management that the gearing, the throttle mapping, the passive cooling and all of those things that go to make a race car run for 90 minutes to battery. And we started at an event with Lotus here in Norfolk, and we had the first race, Lotus, we qualified for the International finals, which were at Silverstone. And in our first year, we were the best international newcomer, and this year actually came third in the international finals in the world. So there are 100 cars. And we were third in the world. We were the youngest team there, but or student were a bit lighter so it does help being younger, a bit smaller. And that’s one of the one of the things we’ve done. And we introduced with us Council, a new uniform policy, which basically stripped agenda labels out of uniform and allowed children to wear the version of the uniform that they felt comfortable with. And that’s in some ways was a very small change because we’d always allowed in our policies, boys in quotation marks to where the girls uniform and vice versa. But now all peoples can choose between the skirts stroke dress uniform, and the short stroke trousers uniform what’s happened is that Firstly, we read to parents, and although the local press picked it up, no parents worried about it. And secondly, we introduced it, a handful of peoples have come in their version of the uniform that they didn’t previously were not a particularly large number. But it’s very natural and easy and it was an obvious change. And it’s just shows that we are listening to our peoples into adapting to the way that society is moving. And the third thing we’ve done is worked really hard to reduce plastic consumption and we use that we lots of single use items that we use.
But a new school council chair elected by our pupils, Using alternative vote. So, you know, the most democratic voting system that we could find. And she is determined that we are going to go further. And I like the fact that she feels that we can lead. And we’ve also been working on homework policy. And with the school Council, we changed the homework policy. In theory, we’re giving the children the same amount that they always had. But in practice, they’re getting longer periods to concentrate on things and do them in more depth. So rather than having two homeworks a night, they’re having one homework a night. And they’re having that homework every other week, which is and the homework is in theory lasting double the time, which allows them to take their time and not feel on that endless treadmill pressure. Last thing we’ve done is we’ve worked with teachers on feedback. And again, the school Council was key to this. And we’ve been experimenting in different ways of what tradition you call marking. It’s actually been ethical feedback because it doesn’t have to be on the page. And we really managed to develop a policy which gives teachers much more professional autonomy, and gives them much more time to plan their lessons works, I think giving better feedback to people’s. So that’s really had a positive effect on workload.
Lee Stanley 18:13
Sounds fantastic. And some real, like fore fronted policies and changes and, you know, as well student led, which, if you empower people to make decisions, you’re always going to get 100% more buying, aren’t you?
Nick Bevington 18:29
Absolutely. And I think that people often worry that children will make silly or naive decisions, if you ask them. And in actual fact, that can be true if they’re not used to taking responsibility, but the more that they’re used to being involved in taking decisions, the more you find that you tend to make very sensible decisions.
Lee Stanley 18:49
Nick Bevington 18:49
And I think that we need in general, a society to have more faith in our young. The views are often dismissed as being naive. I think we think that we don’t know about the world but often those fresh eyes actually see things which our own experience and prejudices stopped us from seeing. Whereas I think that young children and older students do need of course, to listen to adults and to respect adults views. I think adults need to think a bit more about young people’s views and why they think that
Lee Stanley 19:19
Hundred percent, I think, as well, with the way in which children nowadays are open to so much in terms of social media, and the Internet, and the way in which they may upset, like perceive something could be incredibly like thoughtful and really good insight. As opposed to like you say, we may might not necessarily have that and we may have already had those, these pre built barriers, but it sounds sounds absolutely brilliant, brilliant. And, and in terms of moving forward, you have any other initiatives that you have your eyes set on.
Nick Bevington 19:59
Well, our next goal, which has been articulated by a new school council chair is all about taking our environmental awareness further and acting further. I think if you talk to young people, what is their concern above all else, and as much as the country may be talking about Brexit and young people are definitely remain majority. Their biggest concern is about the environment about the future. And there’s that feeling that the the current generation has known about the issues we now face for quite a while in a to my shame. I studied global warming at university in the early 90s. And somehow our generation has put that out of our minds in the way that we’ve acted. And other other things like economic growth, and other imperatives have allowed us not to think about it clearly enough, and yet the evidence of the rapidity of change And the starkness of what we’re facing, has has grown ever stronger. And I think that the current generation is determined that we need to be more ambitious than 25th in terms of our carbon targets and wants to look at all possible ways of eliminating single use plastic, eliminating the use of fossil fuels were possible leaving things in the ground. And actually, it starts with what every single person can do. And Greta Tunberg has also been a big inspiration to young people. And actually, we, we as a staff, we we lead an assembly specifically charting what she has done and her work because in her you always have a lesson that as a young person, you can make a difference. And she would never thought this time last year that she would be such a globally recognised name in just two months time.
Brilliant, Brilliant and within within school, and what do you feel has enabled? Or what do you feel makes a really solid, really strong senior leadership team?
I think that you have got to really think about any team being built upon relationships. And those relationships, his professional relationships are the key to achieving great things together. And I think that that is not just relationships with the senior team, its relationships with the staff, the staff relationships with pupils, and everyone’s relationships with parents. I think it’s recognising that you are all pulling in the same direction in terms of you know, we were all here because we want young people to achieve their best. And I don’t think there’s anyone in teaching you doesn’t believe that and actually, if you’re not, if you’re not there for that reason, that really is, you know, one of the key key signs actually it’s the wrong job for you. And I think that everyone’s in that position. So it’s about trying to listen to people’s views about trying to have that spirit of cooperation and understanding and collectively finding a way that will work. And we’ll get this buy in and the more you can involve people in decision making them, the more likely you are to make those decisions of success. And the biggest driver of staff happiness is that sense of autonomy, I can make a difference. And I think where you have morale issues, it tends to be when you’re feeling as she, what I do isn’t really appreciated. And, and the way I think things should change is really being listened to. And there are times where people have to do things that they’d rather not and there are times where difficult messages have to be given. But I think that if you can maximise your, the positive relationships with people maximise their input, then then you’re going to give yourself the best chance to achieve collectively.
Lee Stanley 23:59
Absolutely. Absolutely. And what advice would you give to any student teachers or NQT’s, you know, entering in the first year of profession?
Nick Bevington 24:09
Okay, well, I’ve seen quite a few NQT’s in terms of my own observations, lesson observations, and also I’ve done some interviewing for Brighton University. And what I would say is that the calibre of people going into teaching these days I did, I think it’s more impressive than ever. And the quality of some of the work that I’ve seen young teachers achieve is, again, really quite encouraging for the future. But I think there are challenges to and I think that it’s the advice for teaching would be rather like the advice acting is definitely not an easy path. And it’s a sort of job that you only do if you can’t think of doing anything else, because the people who really want to be teachers just aren’t prepared to think about any other possibilities, because that’s what they want. So always if you’re in doubt about being a teacher is probably Are they not the right job? You’ve got to know that you want it. And I think all of us teachers have that point where we suddenly realise that that’s, that’s what we did want to that. I think that’s the first thing I would say. I think the second thing I would say is that it is a tough profession. And when you look at what you are theoretically supposed to do, actually, he’s pretty impossible. I think you’re gonna be quite smart with your time and quite smart, realising what’s important and what isn’t important. And try to make sure that you you focus on those things that really are important. And I think when you’re developing your craft with students, and when you’re in front of a class or dealing with interactions are always going to be challenges. And I think that you definitely improve in terms of your assuredness and your ability to take control. And I think that the key advice for new teachers to play things with a straight bat not not not try to not try to be funny not court popularity. But but to be very straight with people very, very fair. And always to focus on the choices that students have, rather than to ever get into a confrontation. So rather than the you will do this, no, I won’t very much this is the situation, you know, the these are choices, these are the consequences of choices. No, it is down to you. And it because ultimately, that is the way it is. And it’s it’s having that assuredness not not to be riled, or to be provoked to be to be flustered. By situation. It’s difficult, and you know that it can arise anywhere. But of course, when you’re dealing with young people, you’re dealing with a group of people who are, you know, energetic, but they’re keen, enthusiastic, but they will say, finding their place in the world and they certainly don’t suffer fools gladly.
Lee Stanley 26:53
No, absolutely, absolutely. What about senior leaders that are thinking about Headship and their progression into headship. Why advice would you give to those?
Nick Bevington 27:02
I think that people who have the best heads sometimes dismissed themselves as being heads because they somehow don’t think they could do it. And and actually, I would like all of those people who who are thinking that they might like to be ahead, but don’t quite believe that it would be right or worried that they would be able to take the pressure, or think that that somehow there’ll be somebody else’s better than them. I’d say go for it. And actually, in most professions, we most of us tend to think of others around us somehow knowing more or being more capable. There’s an inherent insecurity about the human nature. But my view is that actually I’ve seen so many teachers and senior leaders who could make great heads and I think that most of the rules that apply to teaching and most of all Apply to senior leadership, really the same rules that apply to headship and headships are a roll in some ways frees you from certain day to day responsibilities, but she gives you a new a different set of very interesting relationships and interactions. And I think it’s a really rewarding role and there’s nothing more satisfying than standing up in front of a whole school and, and and leading it. So you can do it.
Lee Stanley 28:32
Brilliant. And in terms of outside of work, what what what takes your your mind off of off of the stresses and strains of the day job,
Nick Bevington 28:40
Well having a family and certainly it takes your mind so it can be a busman’s holiday at times when you’re trying to have a family. And yeah, I play tennis I play tennis for a team and local team in Norfolk. I wouldn’t say it’s that elite a team nevertheless, you know, just competing in sport is fun. whatever level you are, I love singing and say anything that involves joining a choir, getting involved in a local community group. Just getting involved in the community interacting with people who are doing different things from teaching and then your family and friends and and walks and activities and just keeping a balance to life. I think any teacher or any head teacher has to know when they’ve worked as many hours as they can work in a day. And actually you need to know when to stop and when to to carry on with your life was otherwise you won’t make a great teacher and you certainly won’t be able to sustain in the long term.
Lee Stanley 29:44
Now agreed. I think that’s something from my experience of, of dealing with teachers that that there’s a specific niche that really, they really struggle with that because let’s be honest, a teaching a teacher job is never complete. There’s always going to be more that you can do and in other kinds of roles and environments, but there must be, you know, a time where they draw a line and say, No, I am satisfied. I have done everything that I can do, and then, you know, have a bit of a bit of R&R or, you know, switch off. But I do I do genuinely think there’s there’s a proportion of the teacher population who, who do struggle with that, you know, incredibly conscientious worry a lot, but only because they want to do the best possible job that they can.
Nick Bevington 30:35
Dont read your emails at night. Is it good? Yeah.
Lee Stanley 30:36
Yeah. Well, the email is, yeah, it’s something that people really struggle to get away from. And what about in terms of book what’s, what’s the last book that you’ve read?
Nick Bevington 30:49
Well, I now I’m reading a book by Roy Blatchford called The Restless School, which is very interesting, because it’s all about moving forward. And thinking about the future. But in between that I also went to a talk last week by an internet blogger and a creativity inspirer called Nick Corston. And I had a book from his talk, which I read over the weekend. And that’s all about this, unlocking this sense of creativity in a world where we are ever focusing on the narrow measurables of education. And it’s all about thinking about the things that really drive success. And he has Einstein’s great quote in it, which is that logic can get you from A to B but imagination can take you anywhere. I’m all about trying to to think beyond the measurable.
Lee Stanley 31:48
Excellent, excellent. And in terms of work, and what’s your favourite app that you use?
Nick Bevington 31:55
Gosh, I that is an interesting question, because that I use lots of apps and we’ve got different mind mapping apps. And we’ve got a great app for teaching called explain everything. Even I love using in the classroom and the randoms selector app, so that that take out any human bias. I mean, I’m quite into my music apps, of course, for my own leisure time. And I consume all my news on various free and subscription news apps. And then I think virtually everything that you do in your everyday life these days is on an app we even have, of course, our great town place online presence and you can even sorted out listings for Town Close on your smartphone. So um, it’s difficult to say a favourite, but I think a good a good thing to do sometimes just like it’s good to go to the supermarket and buy five things that you’ve never bought before. I think sometimes it’s good to go into the app store and Just go and download an app that you didn’t think you need. And it’s, it’s interesting just to always have that spirit of trying something new.
Lee Stanley 33:09
I remember that. I did that for a while where you could get the editor’s choice. And you would, you would just discover a new app that you never heard of didn’t have really any use for, but because it was applicable to something that you needed. It was really it was a really good way of finding new and up and coming up as well.
Nick Bevington 33:32
There’s some brilliant apps alpha teaching. And I really like the ones I Socrative where you get that interaction between pupils and teachers and the virtual learning environment we use is also brilliant for being able to have comments to the viewable by everyone and it really helps discourse so so I think that education is lots of exciting, exciting stuff and education.
Lee Stanley 33:59
Definitely. Definitely What about favourite holiday destination? Where do you like to get away to?
Nick Bevington 34:04
Oh my goodness, that’s also a difficult one because there’s something if you think about the holiday, one of the best moments of holidays is when you dive into clear water. And it’s almost as you go underwater and you you swim in the court with with all of those lovely shots of light caused by the ripples on the water. It’s almost like every worry that you have sort of fades away and you’re sort of temporarily submerged in paradise. And I especially like somebody like the coast of Croatia, where you have many rocks where you could just dive straight into the deep sea. And it’s so beautifully clear, and I love this particular swimmer, but I love swimming in the sea. And that freedom that it gives you that’s so different from swimming in a swimming pool. And so, I mean, I love skiing as well where you’re on a mountain and it’s just you in the snow. I think the sun’s China is such an important ingredient for any holiday because it gives you that that lift of optimism.
Lee Stanley 35:06
Fantastic. I’ve heard really, really good things about Croatia. Really good things. Yeah. It’s on my, on my list of, of destinations.
Nick Bevington 35:13
And you get a sailing boat and anchor in a small harbour in a dive off and swim ashore you know, there’s certainly a very beautiful sort of Mediterranean evolved type of feel to it.
Lee Stanley 35:28
Lovely. And in terms of, if you hadn’t become a teacher, where do you think you’re you would have your journey would have taken you?
Nick Bevington 35:37
so difficult, isn’t it because, in a way, and lots of teachers find it hard now to imagine doing anything else. But I would like to do something involved, you know, presenting things or animating things, or some sort of communication type role and very much on the human side, and I do in enjoy thinking about things and coming up with ideas and discussing ideas. So I think the other thing might might be the the I the turning an idea into a business reality. So I quite often think of something that might make a good product and, of course, as a teach, right, and I never developed it, but I’m quite like it was
Lee Stanley 36:20
excellent. And he’s been the biggest influence overall, in your in your career to date.
Nick Bevington 36:27
Oh, wow. Now that is that’s a very difficult question. I, there was one conference that I went to on brains hands, where I’m a speaker, and you can’t be that big an influence because I can’t remember his name. But he came out with a statistic that’s been an influence, which was, his research showed that 98% of what we know, we’ve taught ourselves and 2% of what we know, and we’ve been taught. And I remember that thinking, Well, of course, whether that’s true or not, even if it’s out, you know, by a factor of five, and it’s how Actually 10% of what what we know, that really does make us think about the role of a teacher in a slightly different way. It may perhaps makes you obsess a bit less about what curriculum you’re covering, and a bit more about the human skills that you’re developing. But I think there was other great influences that I’ve lost. And I think Stephen Fry is someone who I’ve found inspiring. And I think I found him inspiring because, firstly of his, his genius in certain respects, but how that’s combined with vulnerability and his openness to discuss his writing about, you know, his emotions and his journey and the highs and lows, and I really admire that. But But I’ve not actually met him as a person. And there are a few professional sports people that I’ve come to know, through teaching. And I tell you, what I really admire about them is people often fantasise about being a professional sportsperson think how wonderful it would be. It’s amazing just how hard they work, how determined they are. And you know, you don’t get to those positions by accident. But I couldn’t I couldn’t give you a single name who has turned my life around. But I think I’ve been influenced by quite a few people.
Lee Stanley 38:17
Good. Good. Excellent. Okay. Well, thank you ever so much for your time today and your insight. It’s been fascinating and incredibly informative, and really appreciate it. And what’s the best way for people to get in contact with you?
Nick Bevington 38:31
Well, my email is in the public domain firstname.lastname@example.org. And on Twitter, I’m @TownCloseHead. So those are both pretty easy ways to get in touch.
Lee Stanley 38:41
Brilliant, what I’ll do, I’ll put the links into the roll below. And also there’ll be a couple of pop ups as well that people can click and connect with you on. And once again, thank you ever so much for your time. It’s been really, really good and informative.
Nick Bevington 38:57
It’s a pleasure to speak to you too. Thank you very much.
Lee Stanley 38:59
Nick Bevington 39:00
Are you a Headteacher or Senior Leader within a UK School?
Feel like sharing your experiences and insights ?
Help the next generation of NQT’s Senior Leaders and Head’s?